NOC launched its Summer Virtual Learning Program on June 10, 2013, in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, a week prior to the Beaufort County School District’s (BCSD) formal opening. With three years of experience, NOC wanted to give its students a head start to maximize gains in learning for the eight-week program. More than 120 students are now participating in the program and NOC has a waiting list of students who want to join the summer program.
In 2012, NOC students who participated in the Summer Virtual Learning Program scored better than the average of Beaufort County virtual summer learning program participants. In math 57% of NOC students showed no loss of learning over the previous academic year compared to 44% for BCSD virtual summer learning students, based on results of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests taken in spring and fall of 2012. Likewise, in language arts, NOC students scored 51% compared to 48% for BCSD students. NOC’s goal is to do even better this year.
For the Summer Virtual Learning Program, students from low income neighborhoods come to NOC’s Program Centers in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton to spend two hours on Compass Learning (an internet-based learning platform that provides flexibility and can be used at any time). Each student spends half of the time on math and the remaining time on language arts. Lessons are tailored to each student’s reading and math scores, thus helping all students, those who are behind, as well as others who doing well and can excel. Summer loss of learning is greatest among students from low-income neighborhoods because of lack of opportunities for continuous learning and access to internet.
Teachers and volunteers at NOC’s Program Centers provide oversight and timely input to students who participate in the summer program.
With its new Virtual Learning Center at Oaks, funded by the Van Landingham Rotary Club, NOC is playing an important role in helping children in low income neighborhoods excel in school and improve academic performance.